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CANVent Ottawa

Contact information

CANVent Respiratory Services
The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre
1201-505 Smyth Road
Ottawa, ON K1H 8M2

**Our services are provided almost entirely on an outpatient basis. Individuals with spinal cord injury or other neuromuscular diseases may be referred by any physician to the CANVent Respiratory Services**

About CANVent

CANVent is an acronym for Canadian Alternatives in Noninvasive Ventilation. The CANVent Program is located at the Rehabilitation Centre of the Ottawa Hospital although the team is active throughout each of the acute care sites of the Ottawa Hospital. The medical director is Dr. Douglas McKim, and expert care is provided by a team of respirologists, respiratory therapists and nurse.

What is unique about the CANVent Program is its central role within the community in identifying individuals who are at risk and preventing serious or life-threatening complications such as respiratory failure. Through its work, the Program has raised the level of awareness among specialists that individuals with neuromuscular diseases, whether in hospital or the community, are at high risk for respiratory complications and that education and noninvasive airway management (NIVAM) strategies may significantly reduce or eliminate this risk.

NIVAM skills are not widely practiced and as a result, people with potentially preventable complications experience unnecessary Emergency, Hospital and ICU admissions and ill-advised invasive ventilation rather than proactive noninvasive strategies. These conditions include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome and others. NIVAM approaches include, airway clearance (lung volume recruitment, mechanical cough assistance), detection of respiratory failure without in-hospital sleep studies, elective noninvasive ventilation and monitoring and tracheostomy removal, particularly in appropriate individuals in ICU. Members of the CANVent Team actively engage in research and continue to provide professional and patient education to minimize the respiratory complications of neuromuscular illnesses and promote survival and quality of life, in the home.

About this website

Research studies have recommended the development of education resources for health care providers, individuals at risk for, or using, ventilation and their family members. We hope that this e-learning website resource will increase the knowledge, skills, practice and awareness of NIVAM strategies for individuals who prefer this approach as an alternative to invasive ventilation. NIVAM strategies will help to decrease healthcare costs by providing the most appropriate care and individual quality of life. Users will be able to access e-learning tools at the most fitting time and place whether in a clinic area, during a home visit or a classroom setting using the latest communication technologies. The NIVAM e-learning website is a virtual community of practice by linking education to clinical practice.

Team Members
  • Dr. Doug McKim
  • Carole LeBlanc
  • Dr. Judy King
  • Mike Hendley
  • Sandy Lam